Film Capsule: The Spy Who Dumped Me

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Screen Shot 2018-08-31 at 10.29.43 AMThe Spy Who Dumped Me from Director Susanna Fogel is a summer-time female action film, written by a female, directed by a female and stars females. Seemingly, Director Fogel tries a little too hard to show that women can make films like men with gratuitous violence, sexual innuendos within a buddy-buddy formula. The buddy-buddy is a fem-fem, won’t you be my bestie?  Spoiler alert: the answer is yes. Moving beyond the psycho-cerebral, analytical perspective, The Spy Who Dumped Me is a fun film, showcasing the acting chops of Hollywood A-lister, Mila Kunis and, to a lesser extent, Kate McKinnon from Saturday Night Live. The film has strong production values, some heady costuming and enough tongue-in-cheek humor to match the overabundance of gratuitous violence. I call this strategy the kitchen sink approach – throw as many gags and barbs as possible at the audience and some will resonate with a certain demographic and some will resonate with another audience subset. It worked for Mel Brooks in Blazing Saddles and, truthfully, it works for Fogel in The Spy Who Dumped Me.

Fogel makes some interesting directorial choices as she is going head-to-head with a summer blockbuster in Mission Impossible: Fallout. And, she succeeds. Although, The Spy Who Dumped Me is not a great film, it is highly entertaining and a fairly, well-designed comedy. Fogel cashes in with some snappy dialogue and by utilizing some well-chosen film locations in Berlin, Prague, Amsterdam and Vienna, Austria along with some slick camera work from Tyler Allison and top-notch special effects from Tatjana Bozinovski. And, the chemistry between McKinnon’s character, Morgan, an out-of-work actress and Kunis’ Audrey, a cashier at a local grocery store, is believable and is the prime driver of the film. Justin Theroux provides solid acting support as Drew, the spy who dumps, Kunis’ character, Audrey. The second male supporting actor, Dustin Demry-Burns, delivers a very strong performance as Victor, another spy engaging in international espionage.

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What The Spy Who Dumped Me lacks in substance it makes it up with style as it ferociously sticks to its charming female version of the proven, summertime buddy-buddy, winning, box office formula. So, if you’re looking for some light-hearted fun, can stomach some heavy-duty gratuitous violence and some emotionally moving moments between two gal pals then The Spy Who Dumped Me is the film for you. Warmly recommended.

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